Robert James Patterson, of Billings, Montana, passed away peacefully at home in the early morning hours of December 31, 2019, while lovingly surrounded by family.
Bob embarked on life in Billings on January 20, 1947, and was the first son of second-generation Montanans William and Marie Patterson, and eventual big brother/partner-in-crime to Monty Patterson. He was born into humble beginnings, where the value of hard work and dedication were instilled in him from a young age, albeit spiced with a sense of humor.
As a young man, Bob enlisted in the United States Navy and served on the USS Aucilla during the Vietnam War era. Coupled with the work ethic imbued in him from his parents, Bob’s time in the Navy prepared him for a dedicated career as an electrician and, above all, to be a devoted family man.
He met his lifelong partner, Mary Roberts, on a blind date in Billings, and they married on October 3, 1970, before starting a family of their own.
His affinity for the electrical trade was kindled in a small shop in Sheridan, Wyoming, under the mentorship of his uncle, Bud Janich. It was from there that Bob worked his way up to become a certified Master Electrician, later owning his own business and eventually assuming the General Manager position at both Crescent and Wesco electrical companies in Billings. As a natural leader, Bob believed that respect was not given, but rather earned. It was through mutual respect for his employees that he led both companies very successfully throughout his tenure.
While Bob enjoyed the fulfillment of an honest day’s work, it was always family that was his true love. Bob was happiest in the simplest of moments. Whether it be making Easter pie, gathering for the holidays, riding down to Sturgis with friends, hunting in the Gravelly’s and fishing on the Musselshell with family, or watching Katelin play softball, he just enjoyed living life with the ones he loved.
Throughout his life, Bob maintained a youthful zest and sense of humor that became his trademark. Goofy nicknames, funny sayings, and often times embellished stories were the hallmark of a life well lived. His ability to find the humor in life brought joy to those around him.
Bob was 72 years young and, among many others, lives on in his wife of nearly 50 years, Mary; daughter Kristi; sons Steve and Mike (and his wife Lawren); grandchildren Katelin, Reese and Elle; brother Monty (and his partner Debbie); nephew Lee; niece Amy (and her husband Doug); brother-in-law Harold (and his wife Sally); grandnieces and nephews Amber, Cole, Caroline, Katie and Jase; cousins Donna and Jackie (and her husband Tom); and their children Brianne, Daniel, Raymond and Randy.
We would like to thank Stillwater Hospice for the loving care and support they provided for Bob and his family.
The family welcomes you to a visitation from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 3, and a celebration of Bob’s life at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 4, both at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, 1001 Alderson Ave.